Using phony email addresses to stop viruses.

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Jan 8, 2002, 7:21:04 PM1/8/02
I tried putting a phony email address as !000 with the label WormAlert. I
recieved an email saying that this would sort to be the first address sorted
so that when an email virus sends to the first address it won't be able to
send to the first address because the address is phony. The Personal
Address Book sorts by label instead of email address. Is there any way to
sort by the email address in the Personal Address Book?

Here is the email I received What are people's experiences with this? Does
it work?

As you may know, when/if a worm virus gets into your computer it heads
straight for your email address book and sends itself to everyone in there,
thus infecting all your friends and associates.

This trick won't keep the virus from getting into your computer, but it will
stop it from using your address book to spread further, and it will alert
to the fact that the worm has gotten into your system.

Here's what you do:

First, open your address book and click on "new contact" just as you would
if you were adding a new friend to your list of email addresses.

In the window where you would type your friend's first name, type in !000
(that's an exclamation mark followed by 3 zeros).

In the window below where it prompts you to enter the new email address,
in "WormAlert" which, of course, isn't a real email address.

Then complete everything by clicking add, save, enter, OK, etc.

Now, here's what you've done and why it works: The "name" !000 will be
at the top of your address book as entry #1. This will be where the worm
will start in an effort to send itself to all your friends.

But when it tries to send itself to !000, it will be undeliverable because
the "phony" email address you entered (WormAlert). If the first attempt
fails (which it will because of the phony address), the worm goes no further
and your friends will not be infected.

Here's the second great advantage of this method: If an email cannot be
delivered, you will be notified of this in your InBox almost immediately.
Hence, if you ever get an email telling you that an email addressed to
"WormAlert"could not be delivered, you know right away that you have the
virus in your system. You can then take steps to get rid of it!

Diane Poremsky [MVP]

Jan 8, 2002, 7:43:46 PM1/8/02
it's a hoax...

Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
Associate Expert.
Expert Zone -

"Mike" <> wrote in message

Chuck Davis

Jan 8, 2002, 7:55:14 PM1/8/02

It doesn't work.

I have received three messages asking about the
effectiveness of using the "!0000" e-mail address to stop
computer worms. The following is from: Specifically:,24331

Begin Quote:
What's wrong with !0000
First of all, it assumes the worm will try to send itself
to everyone (a k a "send all") in your address book in
alphabetical order. Unfortunately, most of the current
mass-mailing worms will randomly select individual
addresses from the address book in no particular order,
often skipping the first entry.
Even if it did work well, it wouldn't work for long,
because the virus/worm writers would simply start skipping
the first address and sending to all others. Using methods
like this instead of real protection can give users a
false sense of security and cause bigger problems.
Some versions of the tip suggest the use of the email
address "!" for the !0000 contact. This is
even worse, because if any email address (real or not) is
included with the contact, the entire tip fails no matter
what. The result would be that the worm would actually go
out to every address in the address book with the
exception of the "!" address which would
simply bounce, because it is undeliverable.
End quote.

Don't depend on it, and don't forward it. You would only
be wasting your time and the time of others.


Chuck Davis



Jan 8, 2002, 8:12:20 PM1/8/02
Thanks for the info.
"Chuck Davis" <> wrote in message


Jan 8, 2002, 8:12:46 PM1/8/02
Thanks for the Info.
"Diane Poremsky [MVP]" <> wrote in message
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